Recognising the sporting abilities of the visually impaired, the Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) organised a blind football demo game and awareness camp in Mumbai on February 12. The event focused at raising awareness about their sporting abilities and to promote the game.
A five-players-a-side game, blind football is played on a futsal ground (an artificial indoor arena enclosed on all sides) with two sighted goalkeepers. During the game, the players follow the sound of the ball, which has bells inside.
The Indian Blind Football team ranks 23 in the world, says the Federation.
The game was kicked off by actor Shriya Saran who is the brand ambassador for blind football in India. The Federation has been conducting various talent scouting camps throughout the country, and the one organised in Mumbai also looked at building a blind football team in the city.
On the occasion, a demonstration game was conducted between players representing Wilson College against a team comprising members of Xavier’s Resource Center for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) and other institutions.
Wilson College won the game.
The IBFF, which is promoted by Society for Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged, Kochi – a registered NGO working with the sector since 2002, is affiliated with the Paralympic Committee of India. The federation also plans to set up the first Blind Football Academy in Kochi, where talents will be identified and brought on for a long-term basis, offering intensive training, fitness, tactical skills.